Silicon photonics has attracted tremendous attention and research effort as a promising technology in optoelectronic integration for computing, communications, sensing, and solar harvesting. Mainly due to the combination of its excellent material properties and the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication processing technology, silicon has becoming the material choice for photonic and optoelectronic circuits with low cost, ultra-compact device footprint, and high-density integration. This review paper provides an overview on silicon photonics, by highlighting the early work from the mid-1980s on the fundamental building blocks such as silicon platforms and waveguides, and the main milestones that have been achieved so far in the field. A summary of reported work on functional elements in both passive and active devices, as well as the applications of the technology in interconnect, sensing, and solar cells, is identified.

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Keywords Active devices, History, Integration, Passive devices, Review, Silicon photonics
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Journal Journal of Modern Optics
Ye, W.N, & Xiong, Y. (Yule). (2013). Review of silicon photonics: History and recent advances. Journal of Modern Optics (Vol. 60, pp. 1299–1320). doi:10.1080/09500340.2013.839836